Do I Need a Permit for a Pergola in Melbourne?

Do I Need a Permit for a Pergola in Melbourne?

Do I need a permit for a pergola in Melbourne?

Are you looking to build a pergola in Melbourne? One of the most common questions we receive as a pergola builder is “Do I need a permit for a pergola in Melbourne?” The short answer is yes. Most of the time, shire councils in Melbourne require you to acquire a permit before you begin constructing a pergola on your property. However, there are some cases that will not require a permit, and we’ll discuss this in further detail in the following article. We’ll also discuss the best way you can apply for a permit so that the process can be as smooth as possible.

What is a building permit?

A building permit is essentially written permission that allows you to go ahead and build a structure on your property. It’s a legal document that is issued and certified by a registered building surveyor. It confirms that the plans that have been proposed are safe and consistent with the local building standards and regulations. Whether you’re just planning to build a small pergola, or a large Stratco pergola, it’s important to check if you need a permit prior to building. Too often we see people being given fines or being required to demolish their pergola, simply because they didn’t apply for a permit before the original structure was built.

Why building permits can get confusing

In Victoria, we have 79 councils. Each council has different rules and regulations regarding building permits. Pergola council regulations in Victoria will vary depending on where you’re located. This can make it confusing to know whether or not you require a permit, and what is required from you. So, how do you know when to apply for a building permit for a Melbourne pergola? To help you make sense of building permits and building pergolas in Melbourne, we’ve listed a few of the common regulations that will determine whether or not you can build one.


When will a building permit be required?

As stated above, whether or not a building permit for a pergola in Melbourne will be required will depend on where you’re looking to build the pergola. However, the majority of the time, a council will state that a building permit is required if the pergola in question will be:


  • Over a certain size or area (specified by the council). As an example: A pergola over 25 square metres may require a permit.
  • Above a certain percentage of the existing dwelling (the home). For example: A pergola that is 15% of your home size may require a permit.
  • Above a certain height.
  • Built over an easement or other infrastructure such as drainage, electrical or communication lines.
  • Some councils may even require a permit regardless of the size of the pergola. This varies from council to council.


However, as mentioned previously the standards and regulations do vary from council to council. Therefore, the best thing to do is to determine the requirements for your own council. Visit your council’s website and navigate to the building permits page. Here you should find all the relevant information you need to determine whether or not you will need to apply for a permit to build a pergola in Melbourne. You could also contact them via email if you’re struggling to find the information you need. If this sounds difficult, confusing, or you just simply don’t have time, you can get in touch with the experts at Undercover Concepts. We offer an end-to-end solution, taking care of the entire process, including applying for and obtaining building permits for your Melbourne pergola.

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How to apply for a building permit for a pergola in Melbourne

If, after your research you have discovered that you will require a permit for your pergola, the next step is deciding whether you hire someone to obtain the permit or whether you obtain it yourself. Obtaining a permit by yourself without any relevant experience can be a difficult and lengthy process. For this reason, most people will choose to hire a professional. Applying for a building permit usually involves the following:

  • Engineered drawing plans of the pergola and how it will attach to the existing dwelling (your house). These plans need to be detailed, showing in-depth plans for your pergola and how you plan to build it. The plans are required to show the size of the pergola (width, height and length), the materials to be used to build the pergola, how it would anchor to the house and any drainage/plumbing for the pergola that may be relevant. Load and wind factors would also need to be taken into consideration when applying.
  • Once you have those drawings, these would need to be sent off with your permit application to your council/shire.
  • Along with this paperwork, a fee would need to be paid to the council. If you are hiring someone to obtain the permit for you (for example, a builder), you will most likely have to pay a fee for their time as well.
  • You’ll receive a building permit from the council for your pergola in Melbourne once the VBA has issued a building permit number.

Still got questions?

If you’re still unsure about acquiring a building permit in Melbourne and how to go about it, the team at Undercover Concepts are here to help. Read some of our frequently asked questions for more information on the services that we offer. To find more information on pergolas, you can read up on our blogs. You can also visit our work page to view some of the pergolas we’ve built around Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs.

Undercover Concepts – Your pergola builder in Melbourne

If you’re looking to build a pergola in Melbourne, we can take care of the entire process for you pain-free. From creating the original designs, through to managing the building permit and constructing your brand-new pergola, Undercover Concepts will take care of it all. We build steel, Colourbond and Stratco pergolas for many satisfied clients across Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs, including Ringwood, Doncaster and Glen Waverly. But don’t just take our word for it. Read some testimonials from our happy clients to find out why we’re the most trusted pergola builders in Melbourne. You can get in touch with our expert team by visiting our contact page here.

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